Hear The Track HereAnd now, dear readers, time to catch up with the continuing adventures of Thomas J Marchant (24½), a wandering UK troubadour (and btw my Artist Of The Year 2008). So whats the news since we encountered him with Trying Not To Die (August 2010)? Well, its only a month but things move swiftly in Marchant territory - this is a VERY prolific songwriter - and Regret is a track from his NEW album Hang In There, Baby. By my count that's at least two albums the guy has released this year. yeah but, you quibble, it's all a bit low-key, lo-fi innnit? Well, that may well be so, but the style and tone of TJM songs is the real jewel here and always has been and on that score the man can do no wrong (or not very much anyway).
So, thats my bias out the way, now let's tackle yours...
Now I won't deny that Thomas can be an awkward cuss when it comes to doing it his way, and what that generally means is that you will either like him or not. Take Regret for example. If anyone else had done this track, people would have been screaming that its sounds like some English shoe-gazer whining on about God knows what, which completely obscures what Thomas actually does. To me there is a direct link between Thomas and (recent) Morrisey or (ancient) Ray Davies; all songwriters who wrote simple songs about simple things, normal things. It helped that they were master lyricists in their time and although Thomas isn't quite in their league, he's well up there in my books. It should also be noted that this style is VERY commercial here in the UK.
Now, having tasefully built him up, now let me cut his legs out from under him by saying this isn't one of his better sounding efforts. Nothing wrong with the song, mind, that's his forte, after all. The guitars are absolutely drowning in reverb, giving it an inescapable demo feel. Bear in mind that Thomas has almost perfected this arcane art and many of the tracks I have loved also been of this type, but to me on this song that sound blunts the impact, blurs it somehow. It got better when I was able to read the lyrics while reading it, because understanding what he's whini...(oops) singing about is part of the process. It all makes me want to hear it done properly, know what I mean? Still, even with all that, the song still shines through, which makes Thomas J Marchant a jammy (Ed: English slang, lucky) young man.
Lo-fi, somewhat shambolic but a heart of a good song. Recommended.